A 23-year-old Jewish Israeli man was indicted on Tuesday for committing an anti-Arab assault in an alleged confrontation with five Arab men at a grocery store in his hometown and stabbing one of them.
Netanya resident Avraham Kasta was charged aggravated wounding, attempted wounding, obstruction of justice and obstructing the police. He has denied the charges, but his father is said to have identified him in video footage from the store’s security cameras.
The Central District Court in Lod ordered the defendant detained until a further action in the case.
According to the indictment, on July 26, five people came to the store by car and two of them went inside to buy food. Kasta allegedly approached the car in which the three others were sitting and asked them if they were Arabs. After one of them answered that they were, Kasta replied: “Stinking Arabs, get out of here,” the indictment states, after which he asked one of them to get out of the car.
When the man failed to comply, Kasta allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the man.
The indictment alleges that Kasta pounded on the car and called those inside to come out. The other two men then returned to the car from the store and when one of them asked Kasta what he was doing, he called them sons of bitches and dogs and said, “We don’t want to see you here,” according to the charges.
Later Kasta allegedly told the owner of the store that he would burn it down if the owner showed the security camera footage to the police.
When one of the complainants called the police, Kasta is said to have approached him, drawing his knife again and trying to stab the man in the leg – but was unsuccessful. When the police came to his house, Kasta allegedly threatened one of the officers.
Keren Sadeh of the State Prosecutor’s Office told the court that Kasta carried out the alleged crimes in broad daylight “without any prior conflict and without any provocation,” which she said was an indication of how dangerous he is. Prosecutors said they have a large amount of evidence against Kasta, including videos of him trying to attack one of the men, as well as the testimony of the grocery store owner and a clip in which Kasta is purportedly seen threatening a police officer.
Erez Moshkovitz, Kasta’s lawyer, said he is a young man who did his army service and has no criminal record. “We will study the investigative material and after that, we will be able to comment on the matter.”
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